Zero tolerance crack down on drunk drivers announced

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Law enforcement agencies all across Georgia are joining forces to crack down on DUI, speeding, distracted driving, and violations of other traffic laws to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths during the holiday season. They’re warning drivers they will go straight to jail.

 “Today is your warning.  Hear me again.  Today is your warning.  Drunk driving is a choice. All drunk driving deaths are preventable.  Drunk driving is a choice and we are asking everyone here today to choose wisely and not drink when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Allen Poole, Director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The increased enforcement effort is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which runs from December 18, 2020 through January 1, 2020.  The pandemic may put fewer vehicles on the road, but state troopers say all impaired drivers will be arrested and no warnings will be issued. Georgia’s legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is .08.  Sobriety checkpoints will be set up throughout the state. Officials say a DUI arrest could cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines, legal fees, court costs and higher insurance premiums.

In Georgia, 375 out of the 1,504 traffic fatalities in 2018 were alcohol related. That’s 25 percent of all traffic deaths in the state. 14 people died on Georgia roads from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 26. 

The Georgia Office of  Highway Safety offers the following tips for safe travels over the holiday period:

*Plan ahead with a designated driver. Don’t wait until you’ve already started drinking.

*If you find yourself suddenly in need of a sober ride home, call a sober friend, taxi, rideshare service or use public transportation (although holiday schedules may be altered).

*If you’re having a few family members or friends over to celebrate, be sure to have non-alcoholic drinks available to encourage designated drivers and be prepared to take keys away from anyone who tries to leave after drinking.

*If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1, *GSP or your local law enforcement agency.

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